Coming to the Quay Sarasota

Another residential tower could be coming to the Quay Sarasota site along the bayfront.

On Wednesday, the city’s Development Review Committee reviewed plans for Bayso, an 18-story, 150-unit building slated for the south end of the property at U.S. 41 and Fruitville Road. Units in the building will range from 1,600 to 4,000 square feet, with prices starting at $800,000.

Bayso - The Quay Sarasota

City staff offered some technical feedback to the initial site plan at Wednesday’s meeting. Planning Director Steve Cover was mostly positive about the proposal and encouraged the developer to consider more ambitious designs for landscaping and screening the building’s parking garage.

“You really have an opportunity to do something spectacular here, since this is part of the main entrance to the Quay site,” Cover said.

The Kolter Group is the developer behind the Bayso project. The Kolter Group is responsible for another high-rise on the Quay site: The Ritz-Carlton Residences, an 18-story, 73-unit building on the waterfront north of The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota. Kolter also developed The Mark, an 11-story mixed-use project at State Street and Lemon Avenue.

“We think we’re very well positioned in terms of size of our units and price point,” Kolter Urban Regional President Brian Van Slyke said.  “Some of our competition in Sarasota is offering larger units for sale, but we think we’ll be filling a need in a currently underserved market.”

In February, the city’s Planning Board approved plans for a 12-story building with 241 apartments and 12,750 square feet of ground floor retail on blocks two and three of the Quay site, which fronts U.S. 41 north of Fruitville Road.

Sarasota Observer June, 2020

The Quay Sarasota Project – Potential to Shift the Epicenter of Downtown Sarasota

Quay Sarasota ProjectWith nearly 700 high-end residences and more than 200,000 square feet of commercial, retail and restaurant space spread over 15 acres, the Quay Sarasota project has the potential to shift the very epicenter of downtown Sarasota.

In addition to the roughly $1 billion investment master developer GreenPointe Holdings anticipates, the Quay property also benefits from pending upgrades to a 52-acre, municipally owned site adjacent to it.

The 52-acre “The Bay” project also is likely only to enhance, rather than compete, with GreenPointe’s offerings. That’s because city leaders and planners have mandated that the property be devoid of commercial space and condos and be improved with open space and event-driven amenities.

Taken together, the Quay and the Bay could easily alter where tourists and residents alike dine, congregate, shop and play when each reach critical build out a decade from now.

But Edward Burr, GreenPointe’s president and CEO, believes that even after the Quay’s six planned towers, embedded retail and restaurants and connected entertainment space are completed, the project won’t compete directly with the city’s historic downtown that was created in the 1920s.

“I view the Quay Sarasota as merely an extension of the city’s downtown,” says Burr. “I don’t see it shifting the focus of downtown; I expect it will simply complement what’s there, the existing entertainment and restaurants.

To date, two vertical developments have been announced for Quay Sarasota: a luxury, 73-unit condo tower being developed by The Kolter Group, and a 241-unit apartment tower by a division of homebuilder Lennar Corp.

The 18-story Ritz-Carlton Residences, where some units are being marketed for as much as $8 million, is under construction now and is slated for delivery late next year.

Lennar Multifamily’s planned 11-story apartment complex has yet to be formally approved by city officials. The $150 million project, which is slated to break ground sometime in the second quarter of next year, will require about 24 months to build, Burr says.

Like Water Street Tampa, the $3 billion project in Tampa that will encompass 53 acres in that city’s downtown and Westshore Marina District between St. Petersburg and Tampa, another 52-acre, mixed-use development that will be a ground-up neighborhood of high-end residences, shops, restaurants and amenities, Quay Sarasota could transform the urban core of Sarasota through critical mass alone.

The associated commercial space also is expected to have a profound impact. GreenPointe has retained commercial real estate brokerage firm The Shopping Center Group to oversee Quay leasing.

Burr says he expects the next ground-up development, following the Ritz-Carlton Residences and the Lennar apartments, will either be a “condo project with a higher-end price point or a hotel, or both.”

Quay Sarasota is entitled for a 175-room hotel. That component likely wouldn’t debut until the close of 2022 or the first half of 2023, he says. The bulk of the Quay development is expected to be completed by the end of 2025, Burr believes.

And even as the vertical projects progress, other development is slated to occur on the site, which is adjacent to a 266-room Ritz-Carlton Sarasota hotel.

GreenPointe has pledged to install a marina and a one-acre park within the project, and state transportation officials are planning a traffic calming roundabout at North Tamiami Trail and Fruitville Road, at the Quay’s entrance. It is scheduled to be completed by the end of next year.

An internal main street, Quay Commons, is on tap to be ready by the first quarter of 2021, as well.

Although Quay Sarasota is perhaps GreenPointe’s most urban project at present, it isn’t the Jacksonville-based company’s only Gulf Coast endeavor.

In Tampa, GreenPointe is developing Triple Creek, a 990-acre master-planned community with more than 2,000 homesites, and Belmont, a 930-acre community with more than 2,000 residences and 180,000 square feet of commercial space.

In Lakeland, the company is building Bridgewater, a 700-acre tract slated for more than 860 homesites and commercial space.

And in Fort Myers, GreenPointe is working on Hampton Lakes, a 413-acre project planned for more than 400 homes and River Hall, a 1,500-acre property scheduled to contain roughly 2,000 homes.

“Our core competency is developing communities with a sense of place,” says Burr. “We work hard to balance the economic realities of a place with the demands of that particular marketplace.”

Business Observer October 25, 2019

Lemon Avenue Streetscape Project

The city is undertaking a seven-month effort to redesign a downtown Sarasota street and park.

Construction on a Lemon Avenue streetscape project is set to begin Monday, a process expected to continue through December as the city invests $3.5 million into redesigning the downtown road and a nearby park.

Lemon AvenueThe project will include the segment of Lemon Avenue between Main Street and Pineapple Avenue. Plans call for the installation of bricked streets and curbless sidewalks, mirroring the look of the Lemon Avenue mall to the north. City officials have called the project an opportunity to improve the pedestrian experience along the street.

During construction, the city will close two intersections to vehicular traffic for extended periods. The intersection of Lemon Avenue and Main Street is scheduled to be closed from mid-June to mid-July, and the intersection of Lemon Avenue and State Street is scheduled to be closed from August to September. In a newsletter, the city said the project timeline is tentative and subject to change.

‘The Lemon Avenue Streetscape project is led by the City of Sarasota to make a more vibrant downtown. Streetscape improvements will stretch from the existing Lemon Ave. mall to Pineapple Avenue and will include replacing the asphalt street with brick pavers, removing the curbs to create a more open, pedestrian-friendly experience and transforming the public area surrounding Paul Thorpe Jr. Park into an attractive, welcoming space.”


Jon F. Swift Construction is recognized as one of the area’s leading commercial contractors, serving Sarasota and Manatee County public and private sector clients for nearly 40 years.

David W. Johnston Landscape Architects (DWJA) has extensive local experience in planning and implementing streetscape/landscape projects.

Infrastructure Solution Services (ISS) provides consulting engineering services to the Southeastern United States, focusing on Florida.

More information on the Lemon Avenue project is available on a city website.The city intends to provide updates on the project every two weeks once construction begins.

Observer May 8, 2019

Bayside Club Expands Sarasota’s Resort-Style Urban Living

Bayside ClubRosemary District’s Bayside Club has started preconstruction sales

The desire for the luxury lifestyle in an urban setting shows no signs of subsiding.

The fences are up, some construction materials lay on the ground and a pint-sized excavator sits nearby, but condominium sales are underway at The Bayside Club, the Rosemary District’s next big thing.

Across May Lane inside CitySide, the Bayside sales studio hums with inquiries and appointments. Following the success of their upscale CitySide apartment complex — the 228 residences are fully leased — Bayside’s developers aim to again produce an urban resort-style lifestyle.

Surprising Affordability
With The Mark and BLVD still under construction; selling well — but mostly more expensive, Bayside intends to carve out a niche with a boatload of amenities for owners of the 242 one- to three-bedroom residences. Bayside condos top out at around $900,000; The Mark prices start in the $800,000 range and BLVD’s units begin at $1.9 million.

During a Thursday interview inside the sales studio — a CitySide apartment that has been equipped with Bayfront’s upscale finishes — Josh Weiner, principal of the Longboat Group, Bayside’s developer, explained:

“We’ve built a program with the goal basically to let people spend more time doing the things they love and enjoy in this great Sarasota lifestyle and not have to worry about all the things that are not so fun to deal with.”  The concept is ultimately carefree living, he said. Signature Club Services fill most of the 32-page Baysider Handbook, the complex’s bible, Weiner said.

“What we really heard from folks is they really want that resort-style living but they don’t want to be out in the suburbs, they want to be downtown,” he said. “And we’re really fortunate that we’ve got this large piece of property right downtown where we can program and build in all these amenities.”

Bayside’s amenities cover more than 50,000 square feet. The rooftop terrace sports an enclosed kitchen and lounge. The pool and cabana courtyard offers lap lanes, volleyball area and grilling stations. The zen lanai and pavilion features an Asian garden-style courtyard. Fitness and yoga studios with a state-of-the-art gym host all manner of classes and wellness programs. The pet activity park offers play and water stations.

The club will be anchored by the May Lane Plaza, where streetside restaurants, a marketplace and shops will serve residents and visitors alike as well as a members-only club lounge and bar.

Shuttle transportation for residents is available — to the beach, golf course, airport, downtown, anywhere. “Folks don’t have to worry about driving and parking,” Weiner said.

A Saturday buffet breakfast is served, and the coffee bar offers espresso, lattes, fresh fruit and snacks. Fitness classes, social activities, card games, water volleyball, wine tasting, nature outings, dance classes, educational lectures, pickleball clinics, trivia contests — these are some of the things that fill a jam-packed monthly calendar.

The Bayside Club is designed to free residents from the worries and work of traditional home ownership. Got a leaky faucet? Call the front desk and the on-site maintenance team will make the repairs, Weiner said. “That’s very different from what you typically get in the condo work,” he said.

The “worry free maintenance” benefit includes special assessment assurance. Unlike regular condo homeowners associations able to levy special charges to repair and replace roofing, plumbing and electrical systems, not here. “We want to take the liability away from the residents for stuff that comes up and isn’t expected,” Weiner said.

There’s also a lifestyle concierge to help arrange pet care, housekeeping, dry-cleaning and more; universal internet and smart home capabilities. Each residence is wired to be a sophisticated “smart home” with residents able to control the thermostat, security system and even lighting from their phones. There is also a “Rent and Relax” program where condo owners can lease their units for minimum of four months, and Bayside will take care of advertising, background screening and collecting.

Build-out is anticipated in the spring 2021. Phased move-in for buyers starting in the fall of 2020 with the completion of phase one.

The developer is also providing a “Stay Close at CitySide” option. Buyers can reside at CitySide as units become available while their home is being constructed; complimentary access to “Adventure Vehicle” for kayak and paddleboard excursions; and access to all special events and activities to get to know future neighbors.

Herald-Tribune Jan 31, 2019

Acros Luxury Apartments Downtown Sarasota

Luxury ApartmentsThe five-story Arcos luxury apartments may still be something of a work in progress, but 40 percent of its 228 units have been leased and 30 percent are occupied, Phillip Smith said during a tour of the property.

“The big idea here is to create an urban oasis right in the middle of downtown where people can escape, feel at home but also feel separated from the city,” said the president of the Tampa-based developer, Framework Group LLC.

The entrance to the West Indies-styled community is at 320 Central Ave.

High demand for luxury

The apartment buildings and six-story parking garage on the 3-acre site surround a large, park-like setting with a resort-style pool, a fenced pet play area (with a fire hydrant), and a social pavilion with a fireplace and statue. That creates an oasis of privacy and peacefulness. “The outdoor space is something we spent a lot of time and energy on,” Smith said.

“Being in downtown Sarasota has been on our radar for a long, long time. I love the city, I love what’s happened here,” he said. “Residents have responded, they love this location.”

Arcos offers studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, each outfitted with extra-large windows, city and courtyard views, designer finishes and flooring, upgraded kitchens and baths, and lofty ceilings. Currently, units range from $1,375 to $3,000 per month, or about $2 per square foot, Smith said. The floor plans start with a compact 678-square-foot studio and end with a spacious 1,710-square-foot unit with three bedrooms.

The most popular choice to date is the one bedroom on an upper floor. The higher up, the higher the rent.

“This is definitely A-plus luxury rental living,” Smith said. “Most apartment developers have spent a lot of time and effort to really up the game when it comes to finishes and amenities and just the overall apartment living experience. It just isn’t what it used to be.”

National figures reflect that. Yardi Matrix, which compiles statistics and studies in support of the commercial apartment industry, found that in 2017 the development of luxury rental properties had risen to 79 percent of all apartment construction in the nation — up from 75 percent in 2015 and 50 percent in 2012.

The trend is continuing as 2018 is shaping up to be another banner year for high-end apartment construction. Nationally, about 87 percent of all large-scale apartment complexes completed in the first half of this year are high-end.

Yardi Matrix reports that the average occupancy rate in high-end rental properties was 95.8 percent as of the end of 2015.

Downtown Sarasota and the Rosemary District don’t lack for upscale apartments, including Elan Rosemary, One Palm, The DeSota, Bold Lofts and CitySide, to name a few.

Luxury ApartmentsArcos amenities, art

The complex’s central indoor gathering spot has a game room with billiards and a poker/card table, a conversational seating area in the middle, and a television and fireplace on the other side. Down a hallway, there’s shared workspace: a conference room with a television for presentations, couches for laptop work, high-top tables for groups and several private cell phone rooms for privacy.

“We trying to offer as many different work areas as we can,” Smith said.

The other end of the main floor holds more amenities: a fully equipped fitness center outfitted with the latest workout trend — thick “battle ropes” anchored to a wall — and manicure, pedicure and massage rooms as well as a “quiet” room for meditation.

Framework Group, which carries a diverse portfolio of large-scale multi-family projects, and its co-developer, Forge Capital Partners, a commercial real estate investment and management company also based in Tampa, will hold a private grand-opening celebration of Arcos on Nov. 8.

That event will include the unveiling of a sculpture by Daniel Arsham, who has created works for Calvin Klein and Louis Vuitton and was described by Smith as “a phenomenally successful, world famous artist.”

“The work is like a piece of fabric rolling over the form of the figure, but the figure has been removed,” said Arsham, describing the sculpture. “Almost as if it were a trace of a moment.”

His piece — and an on-site art gallery called GAZE Modern — pay homage to the Rosemary District’s art-centric background. The gallery will be curated by Tim Jaeger, a graduate of Ringling College of Art & Design and now a painting instructor and the campus and community engagement manager for the school. GAZE will promote emerging artists from Sarasota and Florida.

The gallery’s opening reception, “Color + Contrast,” features the ceramic sculptures of Taylor Robenalt and Polly Johnson and will be held from 5-8 p.m Saturday.

“We wanted to be authentic and thorough in the brand’s connection to the arts,” Smith said. “Arcos’ location in the Rosemary District’s active art community allows us to embrace modern art while offering living spaces unlike anything Sarasota has ever seen.”

Herald Tribune November 2, 2018

New Luxury Tower Planned for Golden Gate Point

Golden Gate PointAnother new luxury condominium tower is in the works for exclusive Golden Gate Point.

Replacing what was initially proposed to be the Allure townhome project on the same site, Evolution is planned as an eight-story, 20-unit tower, along with a rooftop terrace at 111 Golden Gate Point. Residential units will range from 2,071 square feet to 3,519 square feet for penthouse residences, and the condos are expected to retail between $1.3 million and $3+ million.

The 0.83-acre parcel is the largest remaining open lot in the waterfront residential district, located west of downtown near the John Ringling Causeway.

The developer filed an application with Sarasota officials on the tower late last month, according to a story in the Sarasota Observer, sister paper of the Business Observer.

Designed by DSDG Architects LLC, Evolution will offer each residence floor-to-ceiling windows, large terraces and a private garage. Evolution will have first level parking –  42 spaces — two per unit, and an additional two guest spaces.

An on-site sales office, say the project developers, is expected to be open by the end of 2018, where guests can also reserve pre-construction units. The project is expected to break ground in the first quarter of 2019

 “We’ve had an eye on this beautiful lot, the largest remaining redevelopment opportunity on Golden Gate Point, for quite a while and now is the perfect time to convert the space into luxury homes,” says WB Golden Gate Point LLC Principal Wojciech Zukiewicz in the statement. “We’re very excited to be working with DSDG Architects to create something truly unique for the Sarasota luxury landscape.”

Golden Gate Point has seen a surge of new construction in recent years. Until the 1990s, the peninsula was covered with small, two-story rental apartment buildings, but most have been torn down to make room for luxury high rise projects.

Sarasota Observer, Business Observer – September 27, 2018

Kolter Group Begins on Ritz-Carlton Residences Tower

Ritz-CarltonThe Kolter Group has officially begun construction of the Ritz-Carlton Residences condominium tower in downtown Sarasota, which its backers contend will be the “pinnacle of Sarasota living.”

The 73-unit waterfront tower, adjacent to the 18-story Ritz-Carlton Sarasota hotel and condos and part of the 15-acre Quay Sarasota mixed-use project, is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2020.

To date, 29 of the residences in the SB Architects-designed tower have either been reserved or sold, generating $105 million in sales, says John Harper, a Kolter Urban senior project manager.

“This is going to be the most magnificent luxury building on the west coast of Florida,” says Harper, during a morning ground breaking ceremony on site. “For residents, it will be an indelible experience.”

The residences, measuring 3,200 square feet to 6,100 square feet, exclusive of terrace space, will feature private elevators and “flow through” views of the water and the city’s skyline. Each is priced from $2.5 million to $5 million.

In addition, each unit will have access to 24-hour concierge services affiliated with the 266-room Ritz-Carlton Hotel, together with amenities like the resort’s beach club on Lido Key and 18-hole golf course near Lakewood Ranch. Owners also will be able to join the resort’s Members Club.

“The quality services being provided are really a large part of what’s driving this project forward,” says Michael Saunders, founder and CEO of real estate brokerage Michael Saunders & Co., the listing agent for the tower.

“Every day will be a red-carpet day at the Ritz-Carlton Residences,” adds Saunders, whose firm also sold the condo units associated with the hotel nearly two decades ago. “What does red carpet mean? It means the best of the best.”

The building’s amenities will include a resort-style swimming pool, fitness center, clubhouse, pool bar, demonstration kitchen and private dog park.

Rick Harcrow, regional president of Jacksonville-based GreenPointe Communities, says the new Ritz-Carlton Residences will be a “signature building” that will be the “most special parcel of this entire project.”

“I can’t think of two better brands to launch the Quay Sarasota than Kolter and the Ritz-Carlton,” Harcrow says of the $1 billion, mixed-use Quay.

Kolter acquired the roughly one-acre tract for the Ritz-Carlton Residences earlier this year for $19.3 million.

“Sarasota is a city that deserves the very best,” says Bob Vail, Kolter Urban’s president. “The Ritz-Carlton Residences will be the next chapter in luxury living here.”

Observer Sarasota, September 13, 2018

Hotel Laurent to Deliver Luxury Experiences in Downtown Sarasota

Hotel LaurentHotel Laurent will be uniquely Sarasota and decidedly exceptional in every way.

For L. Ronald S. Gray, a decades-long vision of creating an incomparable luxury hotel is coming to fruition in downtown Sarasota. Hotel Laurent, his 10-story, 140-room passion project, is pending approval at 20 N. Washington Blvd. To be built in conjunction with Sarasota-based Hoyt Architects and Gilbane Building Company, and internationally-recognized design firm, Cooper Carry, the boutique hotel will revitalize the east end of downtown’s Main Street, while offering discerning travelers a level of service and accommodations unrivaled in the region.

Gray was the sole bidder at $3.3 million last month for the nearly 1-acre, county-owned parking lot at 20 N. Washington Blvd., the northeast corner of the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Main Street. The former New York investment banker who has visited Sarasota since 2002 said he had looked for more than a year for the right location for the boutique hotel.

“We’re presenting a new take on luxury as well as the execution of elegant service — five-star with a smaller footprint,” he said in a news release. “Our goal is to not only re-energize the eastern tip of Main Street but to resonate with those who demand the very best.

Local ownership will allow for an innovative approach to hospitality not mandated by a corporate handbook and focused on individually tailored experiences. All aspects of the brand will exude European-inspired opulence, from the lavish detail and styling to the attention to service and amenities. Preliminary plans include world-class dining options, a spa and gym, and a private concierge floor, club and rooftop pool.

“Hotel Laurent is the culmination of a lifetime of travel and a love for Sarasota,” said Gray. “We’re presenting a new take on luxury as well as the execution of elegant service – Five-Star with a smaller footprint. Our goal is to not only re-energize the eastern tip of Main Street, but to resonate with those who demand the very best. Hotel Laurent will be uniquely Sarasota and decidedly exceptional in every way.”

Preliminary plans for Hotel Laurent — Gray’s first name — include dining options, a spa and gym, and a private concierge floor, club and rooftop pool, according to the news release. Construction is planned to begin next year, with completion targeted for the fourth quarter of 2020.

Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Tampa Bay Newswire, August 28, 2018

East of Trail Development Projects – Downtown Sarasota Real Estate

East of TrailProjects East of Trail are poised to begin construction soon.

Thirteen years after a developer originally proposed a residential complex on a School Avenue property across from Payne Park, construction is finally set to begin at the site later this summer.

The Payne Park Village project has been significantly scaled down from the first concepts, which called for 450 condominiums in buildings up to seven stories. Now under the ownership of a new company, David Weekley Homes, the plans for the 8.7-acre parcel include 135 attached and detached single-family homes between three and four stories.

Although the scope of the project may be reduced, the developer believes Payne Park Village can help reshape the segment of the city east of downtown.

Jimmy Oriol, the Sarasota division president for David Weekley Homes, said the company was excited to break ground in an area that has not yet been a hub for the same kind of growth taking place in other districts bordering the city’s center.

“We feel like it’s the next evolution, and we’re happy to be a part of the revitalization of that area,” Oriol said.

There may be reason to be bullish about the future of the area east of U.S. 301. Just northeast of the Payne Park Village site, another long-awaited project is prepared to begin construction soon. At the former home of the Ringling Shopping Center, the subject of the city’s contentious decisions to reject plans for a Walmart supercenter, a developer is set to start work on a 222-unit apartment complex.

Though the completion of both projects is still more than a year away, the prospect of adding more than 350 residential units could reshape the dynamics of the area.

Patrick Berman, a retail specialist with Cushman & Wakefield, is marketing the commercial parcels on the Ringling Shopping Center property at 2260 Ringling Blvd. He anticipates the introduction of more full-time residents into the area will have a noticeable effect.

“Once you start seeing some of these projects coming out of the ground and being occupied, the positive impact to those neighborhoods is immediate and demonstrative,” Berman said.

Even before these large projects begin construction, there have been signs of increased interest immediately east of downtown.

Tampa-based developer Icon Residential is constructing a 37-unit town home project at 41 N. School Ave., along the road’s intersection with Main Street. The company plans to follow that up with another 32 town homes on First Street between East Avenue and Audubon Place.

Two hotels are planned east of U.S. 301 between Fruitville Road and Ringling Boulevard. So is a 7,000-square-foot retail complex at 218 N. East Ave. It remains to be seen how many of these projects come to fruition, but Berman said it made sense for developers to seek a new frontier given the rate of activity downtown and in the Rosemary District.

“It’s a matter of supply and demand, where finding vacant zone-entitled lots are hard to come by,” Berman said. “Once the apartments begin construction, we’ll get an even better response.”

Oriol highlighted another potential project that could increase interest in the area — the possible extension of the Legacy Trail to Payne Park. In November, county voters will vote on a bond issue for the project. If it passes, Oriol anticipated the trail would be a meaningful catalyst for additional activity.


Sarasota Observer, July 26, 2018

Work Begins on Sarasota Quay – Downtown Sarasota Real Estate

A new Sarasota Quay is underway. Finally.

Long-awaited bayfront development of residential, hotel and business units breaks ground.

Sarasota Quay

The developer’s goal is creating a place that will please the public and engage the waterfront. Those are some of the intangible goals of GreenPointe Communities LLC.

On Wednesday afternoon under mostly blue skies, the Jacksonville-based company staged an infrastructure groundbreaking ceremony at the 15-acre Quay Sarasota Waterfront District site with city commissioners and the mayor, Planning Board members, Booker High School students and others.

Before GreenPointe president Grady Miars addressed the gathering, he described the project in a Herald-Tribune interview.

The renovation and repurposing of the historic 1925 Belle Haven Apartment building on the site is a pivotal piece of the project, which is entitled to 695 residential units, 175 hotel rooms, 38,972 square feet of office space and 189,050 square feet of commercial space. The overall project represents a $1 billion investment from GreenPointe and other investors.

The Belle Haven, Miars said, is “considered to be the crown jewel of the development.”

“Right now, we’ve been actively working on the interior components, making sure that it’s suitable and stable, and then we’re going to refurbish it,” he said.

Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin called the Belle Haven “one of the greatest buildings that has ever graced the bayfront.”

Initially, GreenPointe offices will be in the refurbished Belle Haven. Ultimately, though, the idea is to turn the structure into the central piece of the Quay, Miars said, “so it will be part of our placemaking effort.”

The project also calls for a public park leading to the waterfront, where docks will be available.

“What you’ll see in our development and in our infrastructure is it’s going to invite the public in to be able to utilize not only our central Quay and the facilities there, the retail, and also engage to the waterfront,” Miars said. “We feel that is very important.”

Rick Harcrow, GreenPointe’s regional president, said, “We dedicated ourselves to creating a special place.”

The company is coordinating plans with The Bay project directly to the north, the Sasaki design team and city officials. “We’re very much in support of what’s happening to our north,” he said of the bayfront redevelopment effort. “What’s happening around us has really evolved and has come a long way.”

Barwin appreciates the fact that the two major projects are coming to life together. “We’re especially excited it’s (the Quay) moving in tandem with the Bay,” he said.

Vertical construction is scheduled to begin this fall on a 73-unit, 18-story condominium tower called The Grande — complete with a restaurant. That work is expected to last two years.

If the national economy continues to perform well, Miars anticipates a five- to seven-year construction schedule for the entire project.

“Our expectations for the project is really what we set out for when we started in 2014,” Miars said, “to acquire a piece of land in the city of Sarasota in an area ripe for redevelopment and be able to intertwine ourselves into the fabric of Sarasota. Sarasota has so many great things that are going on, from the arts, the culture and the waterfront.

“This is one of those opportunities where we can seamlessly bridge in between those — and ultimately into downtown.”

City Commissioner Shelli Freeland Eddie applauded GreenPointe for seeking “community input at all stages of the project.”

She proposed that the company incorporate nearby Booker High School engineering and art students into the project in a shadowing program. Executives agreed immediately, she said in another interview. The collaboration will lead to job opportunities, she said. “We want to keep our best and brightest in our community.”

Pride plays a role, too. When those participating students drive by the Quay Sarasota in the future, they can say, “I had a part in that,” Freeland Eddie said.

Redevelopment plans for the 15-acre bayfront property began some 15 years ago. A few years after acquiring the land, the Irish investors leveled the old Sarasota Quay condo building in 2007. Bankruptcy and legal wrangling ended that effort and the site sat empty for years.

GreenPointe purchased the property in 2014 and now the first groundbreaking has occurred. Another will be held just ahead of vertical construction.

Sarasota Herald Tribune, May 23, 2018